Top 25 Most Impactful Chairs of Boards 2024

Before assuming the role of Chair in 2022, she served as a Director for two years, undoubtedly laying the foundation for her success in the new position.

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RITA OKUTHE

CHAIR M-TIBA

At the helm of the M-TIBA Board stands the visionary Rita Okuthe, whose exceptional leadership propels the platform towards remarkable accomplishments. Before assuming the role of Chair in 2022, she served as a Director for two years, undoubtedly laying the foundation for her success in the new position. Rita’s authoritative and persuasive charm unifies the board around a common vision, fostering an inclusive leadership style that builds consensus for the greater good.

 Established in 2016, M-TIBA stands as Kenya’s premier mobile health platform, fostering seamless interaction among insurers, healthcare providers, and individuals. Rita’s guidance ensures transparent and predictable information flow across the healthcare value chain, resulting in lower healthcare costs and enhanced efficiencies.

 Under Rita’s leadership, M-TIBA has evolved to pioneer digital health services such as telemedicine consultations, medication reminders, and health information resources. Notably, the platform’s groundbreaking partnership with Sweden’s BYON8 facilitates online access to healthcare specialists.

 M-TIBA has actively made significant strides in the international market, successfully expanding into Nigeria, standing as a testament to the platform’s success under Rita’s steadfast guidance.

 In 2023, Rita, chairing the M-TIBA board, orchestrated a strategic alliance with the Medical Credit Fund (MCF) and MYDAWA, Kenya’s leading online pharmacy. This innovative financing solution empowers healthcare facilities to access substantial credit of up to KES 40 million through M-TIBA’s Cash Advance, fostering efficiency and sustainability in healthcare services.

 M-TIBA’s success story is anchored in its unwavering commitment to customer-centric approaches, leveraging technology and strategic collaborations under Rita’s adept leadership. Her pivotal role not only contributes to improved health outcomes but also enhances financial inclusion and expands access to healthcare services across the country. Rita’s strategic acumen undeniably propels initiatives that bridge financial gaps, fostering resilience within the healthcare sector.

 Before her tenure at M-TIBA, Rita served as Chair of the Board of Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC) from 2020 to 2022. In this role, she, alongside the executive management, oversaw transformative milestones.

 Notably, Rita bolstered KPC’s profitability, contributing to the Exchequer through dividend payouts in alignment with the Big Four Agenda. Her leadership witnessed a management style shift towards customer-centricity, exemplified by the successful integration of Kenya Revenue Authority’s (KRA) Integrated Customs Management System (iCMS) with KPC’s SAP system, revolutionising wet cargo clearance and optimising tax compliance.

 Under Rita’s guidance, KPC diversified its business, leasing the dark fibre-optic cable to telco giants like Safaricom, Jamii Telecommunications, and Wananchi Group, resulting in substantial revenue growth. She also participated in efforts to position Kenya as a logistics hub by synergizing KPC, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), and Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) under the Kenya Transport and Logistics Network (KTLN). Her strategic leadership has indelibly marked KPC’s growth and operational excellence.

 Rita has held numerous influential positions across various boards, showcasing her commitment to economic empowerment and strategic leadership. She previously served as a Board Member at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), a Board Member for Mezzanine, Non-Executive Director at the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC), a Board Member for DigiFarm, and a Director for Jambojet.

 The highly sought-after corporate guru brings extensive experience from diverse leadership roles, showcasing exceptional business acumen and thought leadership. Her journey commenced as Communications Manager and later as Head of Marketing at MTN Uganda, where she honed skills crucial for organisational leadership and navigating complex business landscapes. Transitioning to Zanzibar Telecom as Head of Marketing and Communications, Rita consistently demonstrated innovative thinking, strategic brand leadership, and a profound understanding of marketing strategy. Embarking on a transformative journey at Safaricom PLC as Head of Consumer Propositions, she ascended through positions to Marketing Director and ultimately Chief Business Enterprise Officer over ten years. Rita showcased prowess in technology integration and an effective approach to corporate governance, solidifying her status as a prominent figure in the corporate arena.

 Rita achieved notable recognition in 2022 when she was honoured as the Chairperson of the Year by the Women On Boards Network (WOBN). This accolade is a testament to her dedication, strategic vision, and outstanding contributions in steering boards under her purview. Such recognition further solidifies her position as a trailblazer in corporate governance and a role model for aspiring leaders in the professional landscape.

 Rita holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Economics from the University of Nairobi (UoN) and a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Marketing from the London School of Economics (LSE).

A staunch Roman Catholic, Rita is blessed with a daughter.

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Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

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